We have all heard of it Computer Viruses, many of us have had encounters with them in the past. However did you know you could have one on your computer without knowing it? On the 2rd June 2014 the U.S Department of Justice announced that they took down a botnet called “Gameover Zeus, however warnings from many internet giants have told us we need to protect ourselves as they will come back bigger and stronger. Their aim, to steal banking data. This isn’t the first time this has happened and will not be the last. With currently 15,000 machines in the UK infected with Gameover Zeus, it’s time to protect yourselves.
This is what we would suggest you should do to protect yourself against such malicious attacks.
Update Your Operating Systems
Don’t worry we are not suggesting you upgrade your Windows 7 machine to Windows 8, you will see in the bottom right of your screen sometimes a popup saying “Windows Update Available” you NEED to keep these updated.
If you are running Windows XP, YOU ARE VULNERABLE. The support updates ended in April 2014, which means windows will not release any security updates, YOU NEED TO UPGRADE TO ANOTHER OPERATING SYSTEM.
Update your Software
Keep your software up to date. Things like Internet Browsers have weaknesses and these security issues get breached by hackers. However, the browsers patch the issues in updates, so by updating the browsers you keep yourself secure against attacks. There are many browsers to choose from; Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. It’s purely down to personal preference which you choose.
Make sure your have installed and updated your anti-virus software. Do not worry about extra cost if you do not have anti-virus software, you do not have to purchase the most expensive software to stay protected and there are many FREE ones available online such as windows Security Essentials and AVG.
Updating your Antivirus doesn’t mean downloading a new copy of the software each time, there is a database where the software updates itself, and they are called ‘definitions’.
Remove unwanted programs “Advanced”
You may find unwanted programs installed on your PC without knowing they have been installed internet explorer toolbars are very common and many users will notice an increase in this problem.
There are many tools to remove these, but please be aware you can uninstall vital software this way and is only suggested for advanced users. The best tool for this is called CCleaner, you can uninstall programs, clean your software amongst many other features.
Be careful Installing software
Many software installers will have a “click next” process, which means you just keep clicking until it’s installed. But beware you will be installing “extra” programs within this installer. Always read before you click and in many cases you can click “Custom Installation” where you can select what you would like to click on and install.
If you stick by this saying you will be safe online.